Benjamin Archer

In 1788, Benjamin Archer moved to Kentucky from New Jersey with his brothers-in-law, Aaron Nutt, Sr. and Benjamin Robbins. The three men struggled with the existence of slavery in Kentucky and after issues with land titles, they decided to leave Kentucky and move to Ohio. Archer, Robbins, and Nutt are considered to be the founders of Centerville.

Archer purchased over 500 acres of land near Clyo Road and Alex-Bell Road – which was originally outside of Centerville’s city limits. Archer came back to Ohio in 1798 to settle with his family.

Originally from New Jersey, Archer later lived in Philadelphia, where he served as a judge. After he settled in Ohio, he was appointed as a Montgomery County Associate Judge, and in 1803, he took part in the first court proceedings in the county in the upstairs of Newcom’s Tavern.

During his life, Archer also operated a store out of his farm’s log cabin and worked as a brick-building contractor. Archer won the business to build the first Montgomery County Courthouse in Dayton, at Third Street and Main Street (where the Montgomery County Old Court House now stands). He was also a trustee from 1812 to 1819, and 1822 to 1823, along with serving as a deacon and church treasurer in his church.

Unfortunately, in 1824 Archer ran into some legal and financial troubles along with his son David. Two court cases led to a court order that the Archers sell their land, and subsequently, Archer and his family moved to Indiana, where he helped found Fort Wayne.

Benjamin Archer died in 1833, and we can find no record of his burial, but it is likely in Indiana.

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